07 Oct All Of US: The U.S. Women’s Soccer Show discusses the ongoing NWSL sexual abuse crisis
On the latest episode of All of US: The U.S. Women’s Soccer Show, Goal discussed the fallout following the sexual abuse allegations against former NWSL coach Paul Riley.
Riley, who described the allegations as “completely untrue”, was fired by the North Carolina Courage and had his coaching license suspended after former players detailed inappropriate behaviour towards them by the 58-year-old in a report in the Athletic last week.
Goal explained the situation in the league at the moment, while looking ahead to what happens next after a series of concerning incidents.
What are the allegations against Paul Riley?
Former players Sinead Farrelly and Meleana Shim came forth to discuss their experiences working under Riley, with the former accusing him of sexual coercion.
They also described an incident where Riley made the pair kiss in exchange for not having to do a particular training exercise, as well as a number of other examples of inappropriate behaviour.
There was an investigation into Shim’s complaints about Riley during his time with the Portland Thorns, which led to him leaving the club. However, he was allowed to be rehired within the league shortly afterwards.
What has happened since?
As well as Riley being sacked from the Courage, and having his coaching license revoked, NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird has stepped down from her role. Baird had declined to investigate the accusations against Riley earlier this year.
The NWSL is now one of five entities investigating what has happened, with U.S. Soccer, Portland, FIFA and the U.S. Center for SafeSport also doing so.
The league’s games on the weekend following the Athletic’s report were called off, but they did take to the field for Wednesday night’s fixtures and used it as an opportunity to protest against sexual abuse.
Games were stopped in the sixth minute and players gathered in the centre of the pitch to link arms, with the sixth minute signifying the six years it took for Shim and Farrelly to be heard, the NWSL Players’ Association confirmed.
“We will be relentless in our pursuit of a league that deserves the players in it,” the organization wrote.
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